No doubt as writers we have all come to our own abysses on the path to publication or death - whichever comes first. And God knows there are as many different kinds of abysses as there are writers. So I thought I would tell you a bit about my abyss if you'll tell me a bit about yours.
I am presently looking at revising my 2009 Golden Heart finalist manuscript - The Raven's Heart. For the THIRD TIME !! I have a great agent. I really do. I mean she has read this book so many times she knows every change in every version by heart. She has committed portions of it to memory. (Whether this is an act of will or whether the sheer mind-numbing experience of going over it with a fine-tooth comb time, after time, after time has driven some of the prose into her skull lobotomy style, I will never know.)
The set of revisions before me are things she and I arrived at together. I have them all outlined in a nice neat outline. Don't I, Jeanie? And truth be told IF I can get these changes incorporated smoothly and seamlessly into this manuscript the consensus is that the book will be fabulous - haunting, Gothic, romantic, exciting and smoking hot. That is one great big filling up the entire abyss IF !! I mean even my critique partner loved the ideas and she is NOT easy to please. (Think of the Godzilla of mother-in-laws meets Mommie Dearest. She is ONE TOUGH COOKIE to please!) The fact that she loved the first version of the book may have something to do with that.
However, once she finished waxing poetic about how great these revisions were going to make the book (Godzilla, I mean, my CP) she shot me an e-mail the next day and said "I just looked over these revisions again and this is going to be a monumental task." Gulp !! MO NU MEN TAL !! No pressure there!
So, here I sit, with my agent anxiously awaiting this fabulous revised version of a book she already loves and I stand at the edge of the abyss and do .... nothing. Yep, not a word in a week. I've made notes about where to WRITE those revisions, places that need to be revised, places where the cool new elements need to go. I've read the latest version of the manuscript and made copious notes. And what do I actually have on the page? NADA ZILCH NOTHING. Just me, standing at the edge of the abyss wondering how the heck to eat this big elephant sitting on my desk.
So, there's my abyss. How about yours? What is it and how do you jump over it? Or into it? Or fill it up so you can just walk over it. I'll be sitting here in the corner with a knife, a fork, a big napkin tied around my neck and seriously contemplating exactly how much ketchup it is going to take to get this elephant to go down. I think I hear Godzilla coming down from Oklahoma. Gotta run !!